Healey secures promise on HS2 station

PROPOSALS FOR a second South Yorkshire station along the route of the planned high speed rail line are set to take a significant step forward.

The Government will order a study into an HS2 station along the M18

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey has been promised the Government will commission a study into the idea of a station on the HS2 line as it runs close to the existing M18 motorway.

HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins floated the idea in a report earlier this year as he recommended the scrapping of the previous plan for a station at Meadowhall serving the whole of South Yorkshire.

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His revised plan proposed that some northbound HS2 services should branch off the mainline and go into Sheffield station.

Scrapping the Meadowhall station would also allow the mainline to take a route much further east than originally planned and cut construction costs by £1bn.

The move was welcomed in Sheffield but MPs and council leaders in other parts of South Yorkshire expressed concern that it would reduce access to the high speed rail line for residents outside the city.

There was also concern that ministers may ignore his suggestion that the Government study the case for an extra station along the M18. However, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has now confirmed to Mr Healey that his officials are set to commission the study “in the coming weeks” and its findings are expected to be completed in spring 2017.

Mr Healey said: “I oppose a change of route for HS2 away from plans for a Meadowhall station which could bring benefits widely across South Yorkshire, and I’ve said this directly to HS2 boss Sir David Higgins and the Transport Secretary.

“This new HS2 route risks the worst of all worlds, with the HS2 running right through but not stopping in South Yorkshire. So if Ministers are going to consider this new route then I want to make sure an HS2 station in Rotherham or the Dearne is part of the plan.”